Julie Macklowe is ready to party.
That, of course, is not new.
And that is new — or, at least, ready to go, having been aged seven years.
“There’s really no high-end luxury single malt that I would put in my bar, in my collection,” Macklowe said. “I thought, ‘Why not do it myself?’
“Our goal is to be the first luxury American malt — think the Birkin Bag for single malt,” she said.
Macklowe has had an active and varied career. She toiled away structuring leveraged buyouts in Asia, had her own hedge fund, backed fashion businesses and launched the beauty brand Vbeauté, which was sold on HSN.
Along the way, Macklowe nurtured a love of whiskey, first discovered as she was holed up in hotel rooms in South Korea, crunching numbers for corporate takeovers in the day and spending her dinner allowance on booze — as it turns out, very good booze.
And so, she’s striving to make something extraordinary.
The first cask comes from her private reserves and bottles will sell for $1,500, while shots are expected to be sold for $115 to $175.
Macklowe described her philosophy as “great stuff in, great stuff out” and said all the ingredients are “100 percent non-GMO.”
“It’s the best American single malt that I’ve ever had,” she said. “What’s really exceptional about this liquid is that it’s super exotic, spicy, intense on the palate. It’s a powerful, complex finish.”
It’s a business that requires a little bit of everything Macklowe learned along the way — from her financial savvy to the eye for packaging she cultivated at Vbeauté.
“I wanted something that would stand out, that wasn’t another boring whiskey bottle — the same way that I dress, which is, always stand out,” she said. “We wanted to create a whiskey bottle that women can relate to as well as men so that it wasn’t just this masculine object.
“We’re on the frontier of something new,” she said. “It’s been a labor of love. I think you have to be somewhat insane to start a whiskey business, but I think we’re hitting in a space that one one’s been in.”
And soon — as the pandemic, fingers crossed, burns out — the world could be ready for a little more crazy.
“People are just jonesing to get out and have a good time,” Macklowe said. “We’re excited to have people share our drink and be a part of that.”
How to Drink a $150 Shot of Whiskey
The 1 Percenters who drink whiskey might know just what to do with such a high-end drink, but for everyone else, Macklowe offered some guidance.
|“I personally prefer pouring whiskey into a Glencairn or snifter glass when it’s available, otherwise a low ball. I first always nose the whiskey, I smell it first, with my mouth open so you do not just inhale the alcohol. Then I take a small sip, let it linger on the palate and then I swallow it and experience the finish.
“So basically three steps: Nose, palate, finish. Then I add a few drops of water, which is the equivalent of swirling around a wine, it opens the whiskey and I repeat.
“However, you should drink it as you like, so if you prefer to mix, put in on the rocks, or do shots. I say, ‘Do it as you wish!’ The entire point is to have a good time and drink what you like, not what you are told to like! I always think more toasting is more fun!”
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